By Kieron Gillen on July 2nd, 2009 at 6:34 pm.
This is risking being a turn-up for the RPS books. I’m meant to be going to an interview, in a pub. Like – now. But I keep on playing games of this online foot-to-ball game, Kickabout League. Yes! A browser-based foot-to-ball game has got its teeth into me. Now, I’ve only played for a handful of matches, but this really seems to be an appealing, top-down mouse-and-keys esque take on football, cut to the bone. That is, no-throw-ins (There’s an agreeable pinball-esque off-the-wall approach) and lots of GOOOOOOAAALLLLing. I’ve even managed to win some matches, which shows that the learning curve can’t be that steep. You can sign up here or read a few more, interview-going-delaying thoughts below…
It’s also a real PC game. Mouse and keys – aim on mouse, left flick for most stuff, right click for lobs, holding down longer to power up the attack. RPG elements where your characters gain XP which can improve your stats. Management elements where you can buy and sell players, earning money and climbing the leagues. Iffy bits? There appears to be some nasty lag-correction occasionally for me, which I suspect would annoy you if you took it more seriously. The manual switch to players is a little annoying, but I found myself getting used to it worryingly quickly. Also, as a society, teams tend to resign when you get ahead rather than fighting it out. Bloody wimps. At least you get the points and XP for the wins. And that there appears to be some manner of paid-extras in there – the classic way of montiterizing a free-to-play game – will annoy some people.
But really, I was having a lovely time with it just now. The jump from playing the game and passing the ball around in clever moves is pleasingly quick. Five games in, and I’m switching between playing a passing game and just giving it the big hoof seamlessly. Even people quitting matches – reducing the match length further – makes it more of a pure pop thrill. If you fancy a quick sports base arcade game, I suspect this is well worth a look – even if your interest in the genre disappeared along with Sensible World of Soccer. If you play, feel free to put your user-names in the comment thread so you can challenge one another to matches.
Oh – and here’s a video.